The Ghana Police Service has been under fire in recent months, following numerous cases of disorder and robberies recorded across the country.
This year alone, several police officers have been named in issues ranging from unprofessionalism to misconduct.
Also, cases of police brutality have been on the rise, with happenings on the campus of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and the recent demonstration by residents of Adenta a strong case in point.
An annual report released by the police in September indicated that street robberies have also been on a rapid rise.
The report identified rape, murder and narcotics as crimes that have also been on the rise in the country.
All the above, coupled with the recent statement from government that the seven Zongo youth from Asawase who were shot dead by police officers in July were not robbers, have seen the Service hit a new low.
From the instances listed, it is evident that the Ghana Police Service needs to go through some massive transformation.
Below are four reasons why the Ghana Police Service needs serious reforms:
1. Recruitment process is flawed
The police administration often deny this, but the fact is that the recruitment process in the service has never been fair.
These days it is common to see family, friends and other affiliates of the “big men” being recruited, to the neglect of the more qualified persons.
‘Protocols’ have become the order of the day and that is not helping the Police Service. Most of these officers are unqualified yet have been given uniforms and arms to parade themselves as policemen and women.
This points to the fact that the recruitment process is flawed, and unless serious reforms are made, we cannot expect anything better.
2. Period of training is too short
Another thing about the police service that needs to change is the period used for training personnel. While other countries take their officers through years of training, the situation is different in Ghana.
Here, police officers go through just six months of training, after which they are successfully graduated. In honesty, how can a Policeman or woman use just six months to pass out?
As a result, many of these officers come out half-baked and without the necessary qualification to discharge their duties.
This must also change, otherwise we will keep producing unprofessional police offers.
3. Scope of training is too shallow
Aside the length of time for training being very short, the scope of the training is also very shallow. Officers are expected to be well trained and educated on matters of intelligence.
However, it looks like the training is often based on physicals rather than nurturing them to be smart and very quick to spot anomalies.
This ties perfectly into the reason why the training period needs to be extended from the current six months.
Police officers must do more than just wield guns and direct traffic. They need to be more tech savvy and proactive to issues and that can only happen through better training.
4. Need for more intelligent officers
Another flaw in the police service that needs to be ditched is the notion that small or short people cannot be Police officers.
There have been several occasions where people have been disqualified during recruitment because of their heights or skinny physiques.
To improve, we must move past such thinking. Yes, there is the need to have people who are physical as officers, but we also need to create a balance to have intelligent people in the Service.
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